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Nigerian government has unveiled the distribution of tractors to farmers in Kaduna State as part of strategies to enhance mechanized agriculture and boost food security.

FG Empowers Farmers With Smart Agriculture Items In KatsinaMinister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar stated this at the inauguration of the distribution exercise under the FG’s Agricultural Tractorisation Programme on Saturday in Kaduna.

He said, that agriculture being the key sector driving the economy, hence the need for it to be reinvigorated through tractor acquisition to achieve food security.

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The minister said tractors would lead to improved quantity and quality of food per person as well as reduce drudgery of farmers in the country.

“Increasing productivity through tractorisation is fundamental to food security as we have seen in countries like China.

“Farmers are expected to make 40 per cent down payment while the balance of 60 per cent will be spread over a period of three years, he said.

He reiterated government commitment to provide dividend of democracy through provision of enabling environment to the citizens.

The Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Alwan Hassan said farmers relied on manual labour, hence they could not increase food production levels in the country.

He said, the programme has been designed to enhance farmer access to tractors and implements, to encourage mechanised agriculture in the country.

According to him, tractors would be released to the Manage Service Providers on loans, while farmers could access them under a hiring scheme, to increase productivity, stabilise prices and food security in the country.

Earlier, Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the programme would move agriculture from subsistence to commercial venture.

“Agricultural mechanisation will improve yields, address nutrition issues and food security.”

On his part, Iliyasu Muazu, Chairman, Maize Famers Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, commended the gesture, adding that it would assist farmers who could not afford tractors.

He, however, called for more support to the Manage Service Providers to ensure that farmers benefit from the programme across the 774 local government areas.

The Chairman urged farmers to take advantage of the subsidised tractors to improve their productivity.